Famous as ‘King Kazu’, this Japanese forward has enjoyed an astonishing professional journey spanning almost four decades.

Typically, around the age of 35, football players begin to feel the impact of the game on their bodies. This is when most footballers choose to retire. Players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are revered for their longevity, competing at the highest level well into their 40s. However, have you ever heard of Kazuyoshi Miura, the 56-year-old Japanese star who continues to play professionally and refuses to hang up his boots?

Miura is arguably the world’s oldest active professional footballer. At 56, he is preparing to embark on another season in Portugal’s Liga 2. The striker, known as ‘King Kazu’, made his professional debut 37 years ago. His international career with Japan also concluded 23 years ago. Nevertheless, Miura is not finished yet and has recently signed a new loan contract with the Portuguese club Oliveirense.

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Earlier this year, Miura set the record for the oldest player in the Portuguese league. Since February, he has been with Oliveirense after joining them on loan from Yokohama FC in Japan. Throughout his extensive footballing career spanning nearly four decades, Miura has played in various countries, including Australia, Croatia, Italy, and Brazil, in addition to Japan and Portugal.

On the international stage, he earned 89 caps for Japan and scored 55 goals. He represented the national team in the 1992 and 1996 AFC Asian Cups, being part of the victorious squad in the 1992 edition. Miura surpasses the next player in line, 45-year-old legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who currently plays for Parma, by 11 years.